Emulsifying Oil/Balm Cleansers I’m Currently Using

Until recently, good-quality emulsifying oil and balm cleansers were hard to find in green/clean beauty. This, however, has changed considerably in the last few months. There are so many options in the market right now that I’m sure you’ll find something that’s just perfect for your needs. Personally, I prefer emulsifying oil and balm cleansers over non-emulsifying ones as they are much easier to use. Emulsifying cleansers dissolve in water, which means that you don’t need to use a washcloth to take them off. I do like the ritual of using a cleansing cloth if I’m in the mood; but for everyday cleansing, I just like the ease of using something that dissolves dirt, oil, SPF and makeup in one easy step. The cleansers I’ll review below emulsify at varying degrees, but none of them have broken me out or irritated my skin. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

La Bella Figura The Clean Slate: This is possibly the most effective emulsifying cleanser I’ve used from a green beauty brand. It foams slightly when mixed with water, and this ensures that it leaves absolutely no residue. The texture of this cleanser is almost glue-like, which gives it a bit of grip when used on dry skin (great for a deep cleanse). La Bella Figura also offers the option of using it on wet skin, which I find makes it much easier to spread. It has a unique coriander/lemon scent that some have compared to Windex, which I don’t have any issues with (probably because I hate cleaning and have only been exposed to Windex a handful of times). Buy Here!

African Botanics Pure Marula Cleansing Oil: Like most African Botanics products, this is a hi-tech cleanser with botanical extracts and AHAs that exfoliates the skin as it removes dirt, makeup and SPF. Like the La Bella Figura, this rinses clean, with zero residue. Although called a ‘cleansing oil,’ it is glycerine-based, which makes it tricky to massage it in. The addition of AHAs makes this cleanser amazing for congested skin types, as it gently refines the texture of the skin. Be careful to avoid the eye/mouth area as it stings/numbs the area a little. Buy Here!

Moss Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm: This honey-based cleanser has a grainy texture that makes it harder to spread than a number of its competitors. I’ve used the Moss 1.0 version of this cleanser, and what I loved about it was the satisfying way it pilled into little balls when I worked it into the skin. These balls captured dirt and dead skin, and provided a gentle exfoliating action as it cleansed. The Moss website claims that the new version still forms ‘granules’ on the skin, but the jar I currently own doesn’t pill at all. It, however, does rinse clean with absolutely no residue, leaving my skin soft and supple (it stings my eyes slightly, so avoid the eye area if you have sensitive eyes). Great cleanser overall, but I certainly prefer the old version. Buy Here!

Moss Revele Pore Purifying Cleanser: This has become my go-to cleansing oil because it makes it so easy to take the day off. Revele has an easy-to-spread texture that melts away gunk and grime to reveal clear and smooth skin. It rinses clean and doesn’t leave a film behind. Also, its soft rosemary/myrtle scent is just perfect, and I can’t recommend it enough. I use this cleanser both day and night. Buy Here!

Lilfox Amazon After Dark Melty Jungle Cleansing Balm: If you like the ritual of giving yourself a good facial massage as you cleanse and love intense aromas, you need this cleanser in your life. The exotic ‘jungle’ scent of this cleanser is addictive, and it makes me look forward to my cleansing ritual at night. Highly concentrated, it has a nice slip and does a great job removing heavy makeup without irritating the eyes (I tried it on festival makeup a few weeks ago, and it performed with flying colours). While it emulsifies and can be used without a cloth, it does leave a veil of moisture behind. If you prefer a more squeaky-clean finish, you could consider using a cloth or second cleansing with their Jungle Glow (or any other water-based/soluble cleanser). Buy Here!

Mun Akwi Purifying Cleanser: I have used this cleanser for almost a year, and it has always been a reliable option. This yuzu-scented cleanser has a hybrid oil/cream texture that lifts dirt, impurities and makeup without stripping the skin. It does emulsify, but I always get better results when I use it with the Mun Organic Face Towel (my favourite cleansing cloth, by the way). This would be a great option for someone who wants a one-step cleanser that’s easy to take off with a cloth. Buy Here!

© 2018 JustAskArjun. All opinions/views are my own. I accept press samples for review consideration, however, all products are treated with the same level of scrutiny. This post contains some affiliate links.


  1. Elca Sharma
    January 28, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    Any thoughts on Mahalo Unveil ? I am looking for an emulsifying cleanser.

    • askarjun
      January 29, 2018 / 12:06 am

      It’s a good option, but I found that it stung my eyes.

    • December 15, 2018 / 2:38 am

      Unveil is the best cleanser I have tried! Highly recommend.

  2. January 30, 2018 / 9:04 am

    I NEED to try the Lilfox cleansing balm! It sounds lovely. Great roundup of cleansing balms Arjun!

  3. Michael Evans
    February 25, 2018 / 7:36 am

    The African botanical oil cleanser is my favourite oil cleanser so far. Second by a small amount is the Tata Harper nourishing oil cleanser, works amazing as a shaving oil too. Have you tried it?

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